One of the things I love doing (when I'm not blending tea) is rummaging through junk-tique stores, eyeing the vintage serving pieces and wishing my life included more dinner parties. But seeing as I don't even own a dining room, this remains as a fanciful daydream. But that never stops me from trolling yard sales, thrift stores and places stocked with bric-a-brac from floor to ceiling. The excitement of the unknown treasures never ceases.
By my Internet searching, I found out that this Lithophane Dragonware was made in Japan, made popular in the mid 19th-century. What looks like an ordinary tea cup magically reveals the picture of a geisha girl when held up to the light.
eBay whole tea sets...but I never find that as satisfying as having unearthed something like this from the dark recesses of junk-tique store.
I wish my camera was more distinct to show you just how many details are present in her hair, her face, even the brocade of her garments.
It is a true work of art.
I found this really cool website which had some information on Lithophanes, how they are done, and which countries have been known to produced them. My favorite thing is the Gallery of Geishas and other such subjects that made it into the mad world of the Lithophane.